oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The rights of child witnesses versus the accused's right to confrontation: a comparative perspective

Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The article examines the question of whether the rights of child victims of sexual assault take precedence over the confrontation rights of the accused. Protective measures for child victims in South Africa and in foreign systems, such as the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia are examined. The above examination reveals that the right to confrontation is not absolute. In exceptional circumstances, the accused's right to confrontation will yield to the greater public interest in protecting the rights of vulnerable child witnesses. The article recommends the development of alternative legal measures to achieve a balance between these competing interests.

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